Acupuncture is a powerful healing therapy that originated in China more than 3000 years ago as one of the most important components of traditional Chinese medicine. The practice of acupuncture is associated with the insertion of thin needles at very precise points on the body known as acupoints. These points may also be stimulated through other techniques such as acupressure, cupping, moxibustion, electric stimulation, and laser application.
The practice of acupuncture is based on the theory that “Qi” energy flows inside of the body of every individual along specific pathways which are known as meridians. When an illness or pain occurs, it is believed to be caused by a blocking or an unbalancing of that Qi. Acupuncture, thus, seeks to unblock and influence the flow of Qi and bring the body back into balance.
In the United States, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have both publicized and documented the safety and effectiveness of acupuncture treatments for a variety of conditions. Additionally, acupuncture is covered under many insurance policies as a treatment method for pain.
Typically, acupuncture is used to help relieve pain, though it is also used in the treatment of a myriad of other conditions. The mechanism through which stimulation of acupoints most often occurs in modern acupuncture is through the insertion of very thin stainless steel needles. These needles are disposed of after each session.